Ferret Care: How to Protect Your Ferret Against Fleas

If you have a pet ferret, it is important that you remember that they can get fleas just like a cat or dog. If your ferret has fleas, you will need to find a ferret flea treatment that has been proven to be safe for ferrets in order to control the flea infestation.

Ferrets are not simply small cats and dogs, so the cat and dog flea treatments that are appropriate for our other pets are not always safe for ferrets. You should always ask your veterinarian to determine the appropriateness of any flea treatment for your ferret. 

Also remember that the treatment approach will depend on the overall health of your ferret. So if your ferret hasn’t had a physical examination lately, that might be something to add to your ferret care to-do list. Ferrets should be examined at least once per year before the age of 3, and twice per year after that.

How to Find a Safe Ferret Flea Treatment

Although ferrets are often considered to be the third most popular house pet (behind dogs and cats), there really aren’t that many products that have been designed for them. In fact, currently, the only nonprescription flea control product specifically “labeled” for ferrets is Advantage Multi.

This does not mean that other products are not safe; in fact, veterinarians very routinely use “off-label” products, particularly when we are working with exotics. However, if a product is labeled for a particular use for an animal, it is preferred to use that one.

This is because the manufacturer has researched and demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of that product for the specific animals listed on the package. Many veterinarians also like to use prescription flea and tick products for ferrets—the most common one being Revolution.

As a rule, these products should be applied to ferrets once per month, year-round. 

Ferrets and Heartworm Prevention

If you live in a region where heartworm is a problem, you should make sure that your ferret is on preventative heartworm medication as well. The good news is that should you choose to apply Revolution or Advantage Multi to your ferret, they will also be protected against heartworm.

Treat Your Home and Other Pets

Remember that flea protection doesn’t stop with just treating your ferret. You will need to treat every furred animal in the house every month, and be sure to use an approved flea product for the species of animal you need to treat.

Be consistent and faithful with your flea treatment and set reminders in your phone. Treat the house as well, launder bedding weekly and vacuum twice weekly.

With consistency, you can get your ferret (and your household) flea-free and keep them that way!

Featured Image: iStock.com/eurobanks

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra Mitchell is a 1995 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in many fields...

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